We get asked all the time ‘What’s the next big thing in social media?’ so we thought we’d put together our social media predictions for 2017.
Social media is one of the fastest-growing and ever-changing industries around. New developments, trends and behaviours are occurring almost daily. From working with some top brands, speaking to Facebook and listening to the industry commentators, here are our top predictions:
1. Rise in GIFs
We’ve noticed a huge increase in GIFs this year. GIFs are short looping video clips that usually last between 1-3 seconds. Twitter integrated free GIF provider Giphy into its app in February this year, and Instagram’s standalone GIF app Boomerang soared in popularity over the summer. Brands from Chanel
are using these short-form videos to grab the attention of mobile users in the newsfeeds. Who is going to watch a 2-minute video on social media anymore!? (apart from the John Lewis Christmas Ad
of course!) In 2017 we will see a rise in smaller brands utilising GIFs to show off products, and of course personality so that they appeal to their audiences.
2. 360 Video
Zuckerberg is really pushing 360 videos, having just used it to capture his daughter’s first steps
. We haven’t seen many examples of brands using 360 videos yet as it requires a specialist camera – but perhaps innovative brands such as Burberry and AirBnB will invest next year. Check out this example
from National Geographic! The feature is a fantastic way to tell a story in a more interactive way. If you take a panoramic photograph on your iPhone and upload it to Facebook, it will become a 360 photo – try it, it’s very cool!
3. WhatsApp for Business
Many businesses have tried setting up shop on WhatsApp in a basic form, as a way to engage audiences directly in a private setting. The platform receives over 1 billion users every day, and is apparently used by 1 in 7 people on earth! We love following Battenhall’s WhatsApp
broadcast for our daily fix of social media news. We know a personal trainer in South London using it to engage VIP clients with daily motivation and recipes. Gregg’s this year launched a VIP WhatsApp channel
for hardcore pasty fans! We wonder what next year will bring, especially with the messaging app apparently looking to release a Business version.
4.Workplace Social Media
A huge amount of businesses are using social media in the workplace to collaborate and communicate with their peers. We are huge fans of Slack, for example. Facebook Workplace
has soft launched, and we’re particularly excited to see more businesses adopt it for messaging, live video, forum chats and project management. If you’re interested, signup and take the demo webinar. Obviously, there is a whole host of questions that comes along with it, like house rules, codes of conduct and time spent on it – but could this mean the death to email within a few years?
5. AI and Social Media
A big trend set for 2017 is the use of Artificial Intelligence in social media. This is particularly so when it comes to customer service and also data analysis. The rise of digital assistants, such as Siri and Alexa means we are used to speaking to robots to get things done. In 2017 chatbots are set to become mainstream. This will allow brands to answer commons FAQs automatically, and utilise customer service representatives for more in-depth issues.
6. Algorithm Squeezing
As social media builds in noise, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all set to continue to squeeze their algorithms. This will mean that only a tiny amount of what we post to our business pages will be placed in newsfeeds. Social media advertising is the solution to this. Through ads you can reach desired audiences which you select by age, interests, and location, with paid-for adverts. The winning formula here is to use custom audiences; those that have already engaged with your business in some way before. We are set to see more and more businesses using these tools in 2017. If you’re interested in building your knowledge, come to our next workshop
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our predictions and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!